When you start growing tomatoes that the Incas grew, it is easy to get caught up in the history and culture of many things from that part of the world. But when I heard about Quinoa and it's ancient history I was reluctant to try it because it just didn't sound appealing to me. I finally did try it and I am glad I did. It is now something that will always be in my pantry.


Princess Tree - Paulownia Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

This is one of the most amazing trees. Very fast growing. I had one growing in a container and it grew over 5 feet in one year from a seed. Once planted in the ground, it is not unusual for this tree to grow 15-20 feet in a single year under the right conditions. The blooms of this tree resemble Foxglove and are quite stunning.


Luffa Sponge Gourd

What can you say about a sponge that hasn’t already been written? After writing about 15,000 words for this year’s varieties, I am running out of things to say. Seriously, how cool is it to grow a gourd in your own back yard and then use it for a sponge. These are also called “Dish Rag Gourds”. These are easy to grow but take a long growing season to get there, about 110 days or so.


Malabar Climbing Spinach

I have been growing this little known green for more close to 15 years. I first got the seed when I had the retail nursery to use as filler for hanging baskets, but continued to grow it because it has a great taste and is easy to grow. Malabar is not a true spinach, but a vine that tastes a lot like spinach but has thicker leaves. I use this in Italian cooking and stir fry all the time.



I have no idea if this plant has any merit or should even be in your garden. I don't even know if you can eat it. But it is so cool. I love it. It has the most unique foliage of anything I have ever grown. I even made a video so please take a look at that. The Latin name is Solanum ketoense. This plant is a relative to tomato, pepper, and eggplant.


pseudocereal grain Quinoa seeds